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Everything posted by Barrycat

  1. Spain is now one of the countries where independent touring is allowed by Windstar.
  2. We’ve stayed at he Grand Bretagne, a great experience to do once. We also stayed at the St George Lycabettus and was not impressed and would not return. Last visit we tried the Electra Palace in the Plaka. Great location, nice rooms, pool in basement and roof. When we go back, this will be our choice.
  3. Check out the information on this subject on he Windstar Roll Call site
  4. She should be allowed. The Venice limit is 25,000 tons, the Surf is less than 15,000
  5. It looks like the first four cruises introducing the new Legend have been cancelled. It was scheduled to start in London September 4 and now the first scheduled cruise is on September 27 from Lisbon. Unfortunately another tough start for Windstar.
  6. In the previous post I misstated the detail on the CDC level 4. It is not specifically do not travel but rather COVID risk very high. That’s the same to me but I wanted to clarify.
  7. CDC guidance by county Current list of countries listed by the CDC as Level 4, do not travel, added St Martin and Greece yesterday and include BVI, US Virgin Islands, Martinique, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and most of the EU coastal countries including the UK. All primarily due to the spread of the Delta variant. All problems for Windstar sadly
  8. As it turned out the UK lost it’s lead position as our greatest concern about this trip. pour plan was to go directly from the airport to the ship by entering London as in transit passengers. We would then avoid the quarantine and second day shot requirements. Today’s announcement just makes spending a bit of time enjoying London prior to embarkation a possibility. Since we recently cancelled this cruise this is interesting but academic to us. Besides the excursion requirements, the necessary mask requirements and the recent Delta variant surge in the countries we were scheduled to visit, the possibility of contacting the virus despite full vaccination concerned us. The possibility of flunking one of the many required tests during the cruise, despite no symptoms, and facing the local quarantine requirements probably turned out to be the final nail that caused us to cancel. We are sorry but safe and we look forward to already booked Windstar cruises in the future.
  9. For us there are just too many questions/negatives about these two cruises to go ahead with them. Despite the great itinerary combo which I don’t see repeated in the next eighteen months and all of the perks Windstar has included, the danger of flunking one of the required tests and quarantining is just too great. Windstar has six ships sailing 52 weeks a year. We should be able to find something among those 300 plus itineraries that gets us excited. If not there are other cruise lines but hopefully it doesn’t come to that, we love Windstar
  10. Mocamps You may be taking our place on the London start. With all of the other concerns we have about this cruise, now I’m dreading the possibility of flunking one of the many COVID tests despite being fully vaccinated. I’m confident we wouldn’t be really sick but being denied boarding on any of the flights or the ship or shore excursions would be a nightmare.
  11. No choice, book WS excursions or stay on board. We booked for about half of the days on board but that is one of the negatives about this cruise which may cause us to cancel. We would only transit in the UK so we should be ok boarding but the Delta in Portugal and Spain is a concern. Conflicted
  12. Thanks Mocamps. Passengers on the Caribbean sailings said that Amphora was seldom used since the ship was at half capacity. That’s about the case on my cruise so hopefully that will not be the determining factor for Amphora openings.
  13. We have long London/Athens cruise scheduled for September and an equally long list of questions and reservations about Windstar’s ability to manage all of the aspects of port calls in six different countries. We just got a promotional email assuring us that Windstar is aware of the current complexity of this Mediterranean itinerary and that they are working on dealing with the issues involved with each country and port. Let’s hope. Besides the various countries entry issue, the restricted excursion issue, the mask issue, and the cost issue, now there is a new potential problem. Part of the Windstar email states will you have to wear a mask? Probably - mask policies may change according to evolving guidance and to meet a destination’s requirements. Will it mean a bit more dining alfresco? So much the better. We have every confidence you’ll be able to enjoy the same pleasures of a Windstar Cruises vacation that you would in any other year. Dining alfresco sounds like code for “sorry but Amphora is closed”. Apparently the main dining room was seldom open for dinner on current Caribbean cruises and I’m afraid the Windstar is setting the stage for the same on our cruise. Ending the day with a cocktail and an elegant dinner is an integral part of our enjoyment of a cruise. Candles is ok but I don’t want to be forced to dine at one of the new, more casual, Star Legend restaurants all 28 nights. Not a big deal to some, and maybe alfresco in the Caribbean on a seven day cruise might be fun but for us this may be the final straw for that poor camel.
  14. Not only is the ability to enter the UK a bit involved but I checked the entry requirements for France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Many of the countries on the itinerary have fairly liberal policies for Americans coming from America. Where it gets complicated is when you have been in another country, not the US, prior to entering the country in question. Some require PCR or antigen tests not longer than 72 hours prior to arrival in the case of PCR tests. The test you needed to get on the plane to London probably doesn’t apply, it was too long ago. I wish I was more comfortable with believing that Windstar is on top of all of these requirements and has figured out how to comply. Their experience in the Caribbean is not very encouraging. That was simple, get the crew vaccinated, gaining entry to seven different countries in Europe is not so simple. Only viewing the Barcelona skyline from the deck of the Legend is not my idea of the ideal way to experience Barcelona
  15. Here is some information about transiting through the UK. It appears that entry is allowed if you follow this procedure. On July 19 the UK plans to go to Plan #4 which hopefully will relax restrictions. FROM U K WEBSITE Transiting through England There are different rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Passing through an airport in England while on the way to another country is called ‘transiting’. Some travellers call it a ‘layover’. There are 2 types of transiting: ‘airside’ - you do not pass through UK border control before you leave on your connecting journey ‘landside’ - you do pass through UK border control, but come back through it and leave the UK within a short amount of time (usually 24 hours) Before travel to England If you will be transiting through England, you need to do the following before you travel: take a COVID-19 test complete the passenger locator form If you will be transiting landside through England, (including to the Crown Dependencies), you need to do the following when you complete your passenger locator form. select ‘Stay in the UK’ under the Your travel plans section reply ‘I will be travelling for an exempt reason’ to the question about whether you are required to self-isolate on arrival select the Exemption options, and then select ‘Transit Exemption’ Note, you should be prepared to provide evidence at the border of your onward journey and your stay in the Crown Dependencies. When you transit through England You do not need to quarantine on arrival or take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and day 8 if you are transiting airside or landside to a country outside of the Common Travel Area or, from 4am 29 June, to one of the Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands or Isle of Man). If you are transiting landside, you must be entering England for the sole purposes of continuing a journey to a country outside of the Common Travel Area or to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must either: remain within your port of entry until your departure from England, or travel directly from your port of entry to another port of departure in England
  16. Mocamps We MAY be allowed into the UK as in transit passengers if we go directly from the airport to the ship. You might look into this possibility if you just change planes in Miami. Just a suggestion
  17. There are a series of Legend departures from London starting on September 4 for a London London cruise and on to our 29 day London to Athens cruise an September 16. Lots of uncertainty still regarding when/if the UK will open to American tourists and under what conditions and our final payment is looming. We have a few people chatting on a Roll Call but I would like to hear from anyone else who is planning on going on any of these London based cruises. Hopefully we can share any information on entry requirements, boarding information and some other thoughts on options for ground based excursions.
  18. sail to day PLEASE, give it a break. You got your cancellation notice one week ago and even if Windstar put your check in the mail on the 21st you would still be waiting. News flash, there are other people dealing with cancellations and refunds. Don’t worry they will get to you, please.
  19. Sail2day In what sense of proportion is getting a free cruise, albeit an abbreviated cruise, are the 90 passengers on board the Breeze already not being “comped”? Free WiFi, open bar, how about laundry, ask for free shoe shining, why not? Yes Windstar screwed up big time but they took 90 people on a cruise with no revenue and cancelled two subsequent cruises. I think they have paid handsomely for their stupidity. Windstar was not obliged to compensate the Breeze passengers with a free cruise, they could have offered less. Then the “never satisfied “ group would really have had something to complain about.
  20. Metaphysics on Cruise Critic. Jazz always raises the bar, thanks
  21. YES HOORAY....BUT No one would like the good old days of free roaming around town and booking independent land tours return more than I do. We have a 28 day European cruise booked for this fall and we recently booked thirteen different Windstar excursions for that trip. Those thirteen excursions cost me more than we are paying for an eighteen day Tahiti cruise next year, crazy I know BUT. If the Windstar bubble keeps us safe, as ridiculous as some of the recent examples are, it might be worth it. It’s great news that Windstar now allows roaming in Greece but only 25% of the people in Greece are fully vaccinated, ergo 75% are not. Our itinerary visits seven different countries, each with its own COVID entrance regulations. Some require a PCR result so many hours prior to arrival, others an antigen test results at different days. Some require full vaccination, others don’t. It’s a crap shoot and we are excited about going but I haven’t made my final payment, bought airline tickets or booked hotels. I reluctantly booked those excursions realizing that I could cancel some or all if Windstar relaxed it’s excursion policy and then book independently. With the spread of the new variants, the slow vaccination rates in many countries and the confusing and contradictory policies everywhere, I’m not sure that is still our plan. As annoying as the Windstar policy is, there is some small comfort in having them look out for us, whatever their motive.
  22. MRMAC ASKS WHY I'm not necessarily happy about it but there are valid reasons to Windstar’s continuing limitation on shore excursions. Correction, all of he crew will not necessarily be vaccinated. Windstar’s policy is that they want the crew to be vaccinated when the vaccine is available to them. It doesn’t appear to be a requirement. Secondly, the crew is allowed to go ashore at port unsupervised. Currently about 17% of the FP population has been fully vaccinated. That’s a potentially unvaccinated crew member having a drink on shore with a member of 80% of the local population that has not been fully vaccinated. Welcome back on board, I’ll have a red wine please. Lastly, you, vaccinated, will be mixing with that same 80% uncontrolled if you are not part of the Windstar bubble. I agree with petoonya that there is probably a profit motive here but there are other reasons why the policy makes sense.
  23. MORE The Breeze is now half way to Lisbon from Palermo. She left two days ago. At the same departure time, the Legend sailed down to Malta waters, turned around and headed back to Palermo. The Pride is still missing but hopefully in dry dock with its locator turned off
  24. Correction to Lewi Windstar does not require all crew to be vaccinated, they encourage crew to be vaccinated when vaccine is available to them.
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